In 2017, Maria was named the winner of the Music Category of the State University of New York's Thayer Fellowship. This exclusive award was given to 3 artists out of an assembly of 500,000 SUNY students who demonstrate outstanding achievement and high professional promise in the arts.
Maria's debut duo album Distance Chemistry with pianist Renato Diz was well received by crossover lovers of jazz and contemporary music. Unbound by style or instrumental limitations their debut album was built entirely upon improvised arrangements of songs that marked their musical growth during their formative years. Their original composition "Conversation II" was made into a short film directed by Pedro Marnoto.
Ms. Quintanilla released her second album as a co-leader alongside Renato Diz and Sayun Chang. Together, their debut album Breathing Taiwan, is a unique blend of compositions that tell the compelling stories of Taiwanese tribe traditions.